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China’s Economic Engagement in Africa

A Case Study of Angola

Sezgi Cemiloğlu

This book analyzes the growing influence of China in Angola. The author answers the question how and in what extent China has gained influence over the economic development of Angola since the end of the civil war in 2002. She presents the economic facilities of China in Angola from trade and investment to business transactions in the context of Andrew Moravcsik’s Commercial Liberalism Theory. To measure the extension of China’s economic influence through its way of investment (Angola-Mode) and a «no strings attached»-policy, not only the economic interdependent relations between China and Angola have become the focus of this far-reaching book. The author also discusses a process of gradual change of the relations of two rival powers – China and the USA – with Angola.
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Chapter 2: Angola Mode as an Indicator of Economic Interdependence and a Facilitating Factor for Trade, Oil and Infrastructure Contracts


While China respects the national sovereignty of African countries by following the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs, it is also willing to find alternative payment arrangements in order to place Angola as a more attractive partner of financially poor but resource-rich African governments. Angola Mode, which could be defined as bartering natural resources for large-scale infrastructure projects, reflects the idea of cooperation and a win-win relationship. It is seen as a foreign policy instrument for both parties since the idea fulfills the interests of the Angolan and the Chinese parties.

2.1 Development of Angola Mode as an Indicator of Economic Interdependence

Historically, Japan has had an enormous role in the development of the concept ‘Angola Mode’ in China’s economic relations with African countries. In the 1970s, when Japan began engaging in China, it was found extremely convenient to import technology and expertise from Japan while its ‘vast natural resources’ made China an ideal trading partner for Japan.200 Nearing the end of 1978, Chinese officials had signed seventy-four contracts with Japan to finance significant projects that would build today’s modern China.201 Those contracts were all paid in oil and coal. In the late 1970s, China needed to modernize its own resource base and infrastructure, and Japan created a platform for these opportunities. China took advantage of Japan’s interest in the Daqing oil rich region to build infrastructure for ← 61 | 62 → oil transport. Japan’s first package of foreign aid loans was mainly used to build...

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